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Transportation Feasibility Study for the Intermodal Transportation Center
Submitted to the District of Columbia Department of Public Works
Submitted by: KPMG Peat Marwick, L.L.P.
DeLeuw, Cather & Co., P.C.
Delon Hampton Associates, Chartered
Gorove/Slade Associates, Inc.
The objective of the Feasibility Study for the Intermodal
Transportation Center (ITC) is to identify opportunities and constraints for development
of a facility at a Downtown East site bounded by New York Avenue, 4th Street,
Massachusetts Avenue, and 6th Street. The intent of the Feasibility Study is to evaluate
the site in terms of parking supply and demand, structural and civil engineering
constructability, transportation infrastructure requirements and order-of-magnitude costs.
The study objective did not include performing detailed design or environmental analyses.
The concept of an ITC in the Downtown East section of Washington, D.C. has been suggested
in several recent reports including the New York Avenue Development Report, the
Interactive Downtown Task Force report entitled, A Vision And Action Plan To Revitalize
The Heart Of Washington, D.C., and the Transportation Plan for the District of
Columbia: A Transportation Vision, Strategy and Action Plan For the Nation's Capital.
INTERMODAL TRANSPORTATION CENTER
Traffic Access and Circulation
- Under Option A, the total parking area of 2.2 million square feet could accommodate
approximately 7,200 vehicles. More extensive roadway modifications are needed to
accommodate this option of the ITC, such as ramping between I-395 and the ITC.
- Option B of the ITC would yield approximately 625,000 square feet of parking garage with
2,000 spaces. Improvements to the roadway infrastructure, such as turn lanes primarily on
5th Street will facilitate the traffic flow associated with the ITC.
- Apart from improvements directly associated with the ITC, a separate study, New York
Avenue Development Report, identified additional improvements to New York Avenue
including a tunnel from New York Avenue to I-395. The Option A traffic analysis assumes
that this $340- $600 million improvement is funded and constructed by others.
Land Use Compatibility
- The site studied encompasses six development squares on approximately 17 acres.
- Major buildings on the site include the House of Ruth, the Museum Square Apartments, and
the Federal Immigration and Naturalization Service Building.
- Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requirements will be an issue with
the construction of an ITC at this site. Specific attention would be given to the House of
Ruth and an assessment of the visual affects any construction would have on National
Register eligible buildings, structures and districts in the project vicinity.
Preliminary cost estimates were prepared for both Option A and Option B of the ITC.
Cost estimates do not include the value of the buildings currently on the site or
relocation costs. In addition, land value costs assume a $25 per square foot cost for the
"footprint" of the parcels only. The land values do not include consideration of
the floor area ratios that could dramatically increase the land costs by several times the
- ITC Option A (7,200 space) approximately $289 million.
- ITC Option B (2,000 space) approximately $75 million.
Financial analysis for Option B (2,000 spaces) shows that the net annual revenue would
be $4.7 million. Assuming that a public entity would implement the ITC, $4.7 million per
year in net revenue would support financing of about $54 million at a 6% interest rate.
This amounts to $22,500 per space. Should a private entity
implement the ITC, about $33 million would be available for ITC construction, or $16,500
The funding options for the ITC may be pursued through three primary financing
arrangements. These could be pursued in combination, to create a financing package. The
implementation plan would most likely feature elements of each funding option.
District government funding through a parking authority; Federal payments/grants
through an earmark in the reauthorization of the transportation program; and
Additional Issues to be Addressed
While the technical analysis shows that the construction of an ITC is feasible at this
site, there are several issues that need to be addressed. These issues include, but are
not limited to:
- Socio-economic and Historic Resources
Following is a description of each of the issues listed above and some key points that
need to be addressed. Many of these points go beyond the scope of this study and would be
addressed in more detailed technical studies and a draft environmental impact statement.
Funding plays a key role in considering the feasibility of an ITC in the District of
Columbia. There are several financial issues that must be addressed.
- The ITC concept can not be viewed in the same terms as a traditional parking garage. The
ITC has a cost structure which is increased by the following conditions:
- All parking is built below-grade which maximizes cost per space;
- The parking structure is constructed to provide a foundation for significant real estate
development to occur on the site footprint;
- Land costs applied to the parking structure are not currently related to the highest
value land use for the parcel, which would probably be high quality mixed use development;
- The parking structure will require substantial access improvements to the I-395/New York
Avenue intersection. Both the parking structure and area-wide traffic flow conditions
necessitate a regional solution to this key intersection in downtown Washington D.C.,
which adds substantial costs to the project;
- The location of the ITC makes it a key element in a number of development scenarios: the
New Convention Center, East-West transportation corridor - New York Avenue Development,
development of Mount Vernon Square and a possible connection to the old Convention Center,
and a possible baseball stadium. As such, the actual costs of interfacing the ITC with
possible other development projects hinges on the approach taken on other development
options. Additionally, not building the ITC may negatively impact these development
- The internal circulation plan (The ITC and associated access improvements) should become
part of the District's Capital Improvement Program (CIP) which competes for Federal
Transit Administration funds. The ITC could compete for Federal Transit
Administration funds as a joint development project with a transit purpose, i.e.,
intermodal center with a parking component to collect and disperse trips to the
circulator; thereby, limiting auto traffic in the District core.
- The ITC project could compete for federal grant funding as a transportation
demonstration project which featured intermodal connections and joint development to
generate economic development.
- Land costs for the 17 acre parcel are an initial consideration in moving redevelopment
of the site from concept to implementation.
- The land assembly process may be accomplished through asset management, which would
involve land swaps of District-owned parcels for the parcels in the 17 acre site. This is
predicated on the availability and willingness of the District to invest in the project.
- The other alternative is to view the ITC project as a redevelopment project. This would
require a redevelopment corporation to acquire the parcels and then issue an RFP for site
- If the site is developed through a redevelopment corporation via an RFP process, there
will have to be strict direction that ensures a unified garage under the six development
parcels. The redevelopment corporation will have to control the design-
construction-interface of each underground facility to ensure a single ITC.
- The redevelopment of the parcel can not initially rely on tax increment financing
(TIF) since there is not any development upon which to base an increment. TIF financing
could be implemented in a district which would generate revenue downstream to assist in
- Should the District wish to move forward with a municipal parking program of which the
ITC may be the initial project, a newly created District Parking Authority ideally would
receive a share of revenues from meters, parking fines, as well as revenues from facility
operations to move forward financially as a self-supporting entity.
Roadway Network Improvements
Due to the size and complexity of an ITC, there are several
transportation improvements that will need to be made in order to accommodate traffic flow
into and out of the site. While there are several minor improvements listed in the study,
such as adding right and left turn lanes at a few key locations, improvements and
modifications to provide direct connections with I-395 are much more significant.
Preliminary estimates for improvements to I-395 indicate that the costs will be
approximately $15.4 million. These are in addition to improvements to construct a tunnel
from New York Avenue to I-395, which are presented as recommended improvements in other
studies and not related to the construction of an ITC at this site.
While the transportation improvements listed in this study will
facilitate vehicular flow associated with the ITC, it should be noted that other
circulation improvements, proposed by other studies, could affect traffic flow to and from
the ITC. As such, the recommendations listed in this study might need to change to reflect
modifications to the roadway network when the construction of an ITC becomes imminent.
In addition to transportation improvements to the roadway network,
decisions regarding the intermodal nature of the facility are needed. Tour bus parking at
the site is a possibility, and such parking is needed in the District. To facilitate tour
buses, however, the decision would need to be made in advance of design work, so that the
appropriate accommodations could be made for buses. This would include incorporating
larger turning radii arid larger parking spaces in portions of the facility.
Additional recommendations from other studies include incorporating bus
stops and future circulator trolley stops within the ITC. Facilities to incorporate these
transit modes should be included in the design of an ITC. The circulator-trolley system
linkage would be a necessary part of the ITC Comprehensive Intermodal Strategy. A linkage
is required to nearby Metrorail stations (e.g., Gallery Place, Mount Vernon/UDC and Metro
The parking component of the ITC project should be viewed in the
context of an internal circulation plan for the District. In this plan, the ITC provides
"intercept parking" and accommodates intermodal transfers (e.g., trolley, Metro,
walking, inter-city bus, Tour Mobiles, shuttles) throughout the District.
The ITC could become an important node in the internal circulation plan
within the District of Columbia. It could become the inner beltway in a transportation
system functionally related to Metro which performs the distribution function along with
the road network. This type of intermodalism allows greater modal choice.
The development of an ITC at the particular site studied in this
report, requires the purchase of six development squares in a section of Downtown East. As
described in this report, there is a variety of existing development currently located on
these squares. For the purposes of this Feasibility study, it was assumed that this
property could be purchased and the existing buildings on the property would be demolished
to accommodate the construction of the ITC. Determining the feasibility of purchasing the
affected properties and demolition of existing buildings were not included as part
of this study. Individual owners will need to be approached regarding sale of their
property. In addition, there are also outstanding plans for development in this area that
need to be addressed from a comprehensive planning standpoint.
One example of a planned development in this area is the Salvation Army
Planned Unit Development (PUD). Should the District decide to construct an ITC in this
location, plans for the Salvation Army PUD at this site need to be addressed accordingly,
and perhaps a new location found for the Salvation Army's development. Current uses in the
area include the Museum Square apartments, which were constructed in 1980 and the Federal
Immigration and Naturalization Service Building.
Socio-Economic and Historic Resources
Due to some of the existing uses at the proposed site, arrangements to
relocate and/or accommodate existing land uses will be required. These existing land uses
include the Museum Square apartments, as described above, as well as the House of Ruth
which is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
The purpose of this report was to perform a Feasibility study for the
construction of an Intermodal Transportation Center at the site bounded by New York
Avenue, 4th Street, Massachusetts Avenue, and 6th Street. There are several steps that
need to be undertaken to bring the ITC development to fruition. Listed below are some of
the steps that need to be taken to continue the process towards the development and
construction of an ITC at this site:
- Identification and establishment of an entity to carry the project forward. This may
include the establishment of a Parking Authority and/or a Development Authority;
- Identification of reasonable funding sources and financial mechanisms;
- Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) followed by a Final
Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The Environmental Impact Statement process would
cost approximately $1-$2 million and take approximately 12 to 18 months to complete.
Several of the issues that were not addressed or were mentioned briefly in this
Feasibility study would need to be studied more thoroughly in this process, such as air
quality, noise, Section 106, and consistency with comprehensive planning goals within the
Downtown East sector of the District;
- Land acquisition and condemnations;
- Modification of zoning regulations;
- Planning and Design Approvals from the District of Columbia, National Capital Planning
Commission and others;
- Preliminary/final engineering and design;
- Programmatic/development decisions affecting the ITC; and